Congress Takes Up Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act
 
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October 2015
 


Congress is considering legislation that would establish a 15-member commission to study how best to expand and coordinate the use of federal administrative data to evaluate the effectiveness of federal programs. The bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2015 (H.R. 1831/S. 991), coauthored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), is awaiting Senate action. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives and moved through Senate committee during the summer. 

The commission would also study how best to protect the privacy rights of people who interact with federal agencies and ensure their confidentiality. In addition, the commission would explore establishing a federal clearinghouse for program and survey data, which would be accessible to “qualified researchers” from the public and private sectors.

“This is an important piece of legislation for the scientific community as it demonstrates the value of and commitment to evidence-based policymaking,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “The findings of this Commission would provide critical tools needed to make the best policy decisions.”

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders would appoint the 15 commission members from among practitioners in data analysis and privacy protection. Commission members would represent a range of disciplines relevant to program evaluation and data management, including economics, statistics, and data security.  The Majority and Minority leaders in the Senate, the Speaker and Minority Leader in the House, and the president would each appoint 3 members.

 
 
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